The Greco-Roman World

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1 The Greco-Roman World

2 Origins Although distinctive, still influenced by contact with Persian, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian civilizations (e.g. Phoenicians) Indo-European ethnically--like those who invaded India. Early civilization on Crete, Mycenaeans, influenced by Egyptian monumental architecture, and told of in Homer's epics, eventually conquered by Indo- Europeans.

3 Decentralized Civilization Greeks united linguistically and culturally, but not politically. Mountainous terrain makes unifying difficult. By 800 B.C.E, City-States emerge as the dominant political unit.

4 Dynamic trade between city-states Written language (inspired by Phoenician alphabet) leads to rich literary tradition. Intra-Peninsula athletic competition: the Olympics. Emphasis on individual events and excellence. Sparta and Athens dominate the scene and provide useful contrasts: Sparta dominated by a military aristocracy supported by slave-labor agriculture. Athens more commercial and artistic (although Athens also had its share of slaves)

5 Gender Issues Strictly patriarchal Sparta an exception

6 Golden Age, War, Defeat Pericles brings democracy for all adult male citizens and rebuilds the city (it had been wrecked by the Persians). The Parthenon is built. Pericles forms the Delian League, a confederacy of city-states not unlike NATO. Greek Philosophy was less mystical, more based upon reason and observation, as was its science. There's a good reason why they were pioneers in mathematics and physics. Greek Art: Drama (tragedies and comedies), sculptures, architecture, pottery. Greek accomplishments would, in part, inspire the European Renaissance nearly 2,000 years later.

7 Greek Architecture

8 Peloponnesian War Athenian wealth and culture lead to arrogance. Sparta objects. Read Thucydides. Peloponnesian Wars ( BCE). Sparta wins, but the conflict weakens everyone and enables the Macedonian conquests.

9 Alexander The Great Philip II's son, begins conquering at age 20. From his father's conquests in Greece, he will expand the empire across Mesopotamia, into Egypt, through Persia, and just beyond the Indus River. Never lost a battle He stops only because he dies, aged 33.

10 Hellenistic Period Alexander's armies spread Hellenism ("Greekness"). Greek art, architecture, and culture spreads across the Middle East. Library of Alexandria (in Egypt) stored all ancient knowledge. When it burned to the ground, much was lost.

11 Problems With Alexander's Empire When he died, it was divided amongst his three best generals. This weakened the whole and allowed for the rise of Rome. Antigonid Empire: Greece and Macedonia. Ptolemaic: Egypt and Palestine Seleucid: Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and Persia.

12 We ve still got Rome and some comparin to do

13 All Roads Lead to Rome Rome had been a minor city-state. After abolishing the monarchy (nemo est rex!), aristocrats ruled Rome and its territories as a republic. The republic spread its borders across Italian Peninsula, conquering Greek colonies in southern Ionia and Sicily. Like the Chinese, their expansion may have started simply as a means to protect their central territory, but whatever their original motives, they didn't stop.

14 You Gotta Problem, Carthage? Carthage was a powerful Phoenician city-state in northern Africa. It dominated much Mediterranean trade. Rivalry with Rome led to the Punic Wars ( BCE) Carthage ultimately defeated, razed, and its fields sown with salt. Clearly this was about more than a trade dispute, but what?

15 The Problem With Caesar As Rome's borders expanded, politics became more volatile. Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, defeats Pompey and Crassius (the first Triumvriate) and becomes master of Rome. The Senate elects him "dictator," but that has a term limit. Many suspect that Caesar want's more. When he pushes to be named "Dictator for Life," they assume he plans to make himself king. So they stabbed him, and stabbed him, and stabbed him.

16 Octavian "Augustus" Caesar Julius Caesar's grand-nephew and adopted son. In the years after his uncle's assassination, Octavian vies with Marc Antony and Brutus for power (Second Triumvriate). Strong arms the senate, people die (Cicero), a new emperor for a new empire.

17 Roman Emperors Augustus emphasized a virtuous life, but subsequent emperors were corrupted by power and experience. Nero Caligula But Marcus Aurelius was cool.

18 Greco-Roman Religion The gods matter. What the Pantheon means. Polytheism until Theodosius II. Socrates and the problem with Greek religion. Roman problems with Christians. Christianity and Rome.

19 Greco-Roman Culture Arts and sciences Philosophy Theater, Colosseum Architecture

20 Greco-Roman Economy Importance of trade because arable soil limits on the peninsulas. Mediterranean a perfect pond. Slavery--not exactly like in the US.

21 Greco-Roman Values Excellence: physical and mental Science, practical and theoretical. Philosophy, practical and theoretical. Family and patriarchy. Law.

22 Rome's Fall Centuries in the making. Inept emperors. Overreach. Barbarian hordes. Aristotle, Book X.

23 Classical Comparisons All three involved expansion from localized beginnings and integration as they assumed dominance over conquered peoples. All three regressed in both expansion and integration between 200 C.E and 500 C.E. Why couldn't the great empires push back the nomadic invaders? Why did different regions see different patterns of decline, with different results? What did each civilization's decline mean for the immediate and distant future?

24 Comparing Expansion Expansion is preceded and accompanied by the need to define a people's values: Confucius, Buddha, Socrates--all three lived within 150 years of each other. Chinese expansion: emphasis on political centralization. Indian expansion: localized and diverse, but held together by Hinduism. Mediterranean expansion: localized and diverse, affected smaller populations and limited political unity.

25 Comparing Integration The issue of territory Chinese integration: efforts to resettle northerners into southern regions, promote a common language. Indian integration: spread of caste system and Hinduism will unite territories. Roman integration: much local autonomy and tolerance, expansion of citizenship means less resentment; interdependent trade network unites regions.

26 Comparing Integration The Social Issue Greeks distrusted and disrespected foreigners. Pericles and citizenship Issues of toleration in Roman Empire

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